Monday, December 14, 2009

Two NOFA Events in January

Advanced Soils Course-There is still space available!
Please find the brochure for the 2010 Digging Deep: An Advanced Soils Course for Vegetable Growers online at:

The course will be held in 3 sessions: January 5th, January 19th, and February 9th at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont.

Please feel free to call the NOFA Vermont office with any questions:802-434-4122.

NOFA Vermont's5th Annual Direct Marketing Conference January 9th
Vermont Law School
South Royalton, VT
Vermont farmers who sell their products directly to their local communities through farmers' markets, farm stands, and CSA (community supported agriculture) farms, along with farmers' market managers, will gather for a day of workshops and networking on Saturday, January 9th at the Vermont Law School in South Royalton.
The 5th Annual Direct Marketing Conference brings together farmers and market experts to help build stronger marketing opportunities and serve the thriving Vermont market for local food. The conference will feature 18 workshops on a variety of marketing and market development topics including Marketing Raw Milk, Marketing Materials that Work, and Bringing the Benefits of CSA to the Workplace. The conference will also host the annual meeting of the Vermont Farmers' Market Association as well as hold a statewide CSA Network meeting.
NOFA Vermont strengthens direct markets in Vermont by running a farmers' market mini-grant program, promoting direct markets statewide, providing technical assistance, collecting annual economic data, and serving as the umbrella organization for the Vermont Farmers' Market Association.
More information about the conference is available online at Registration is by pre-registration through January 4. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Registration fees are$30 for NOFA Vermont members and $35 for non-members. A lunch made with local ingredients and refreshments are included with the conference fee.

Junior Iron Chef

Burlington School Food Project and Vermont FEED host the 3rd annual Jr. Iron Chef VT

Are you a middle school or high school student looking to show your skills in the kitchen?

Applications are now being accepted for the 3rd annual Jr. Iron Chef VT. Jr. Iron Chef VT is hosted by the Burlington School Food Project and Vermont FEED as a statewide culinary competition that gives students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience preparing nutritious, farm-fresh foods. This experience will encourage students to make healthy eating choices and understand more about nutrition, local agriculture, the culinary arts and school food systems.

In this competition, teams of middle and high school students are invited to create delicious dishes using seasonal, local ingredients. Recipes should be replicable by school foodservice and will have a chance to be featured in school meals. Three awards will be given in each age group: Best in Show, Most Creative, and Greatest Number/Best Use of Local Ingredients.

Jr. Iron Chef VT will be held at the Champlain Valley Expo on Saturday, March 27th, 2010 from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm. Team slots are limited and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first serve basis.

All proceeds from the event will support statewide Farm-to-School initiatives led by Vermont FEED and the Burlington School Food Project.

Applications are now available at
For more information or to sponsor the event contact:

-- Libby McDonald
Vermont FEED
PO BOX 697
Richmond, VT 05477
(802) 434-4122

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Concept2's Annual Holiday Challenge Honors the CAE, SlowFood, Oxfam International and Feeding America

Contact: Meredith Haff
(877) 887-7805

Concept2’s 10th Annual Holiday Challenge to Benefit Food-Related Organizations

November 23, 2009 – Morrisville, VT – With holiday foods everywhere you turn this time of year, Concept2 offers a way to fend off holiday weight gain and stress while helping others in need with the 10th Annual Holiday Challenge. This year, the Holiday Challenge helps put food on the table for struggling families by supporting organizations whose mission it is to make sure our food is healthy, sustainable and that no one goes hungry.

Participants choose an exercise goal of 100K or 200K to complete between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then record their progress online in the free Concept2 Online Logbook. The Holiday Challenge rewards motivation and perseverance, not speed. Finishers are recognized with certificates of completion and honorary pins. In the past ten years, Concept2 rowers have rowed over 5.3 trillion meters! To include even more participants, Concept2 invites skiers to include their Concept2 SkiErg meters as well.

For every person who rows or skis at least 100K during the challenge, Concept2 will donate $.02 for every kilometer (1000 meters) to one of the following organizations: Oxfam International (, Slow Food USA (, Feeding America ( and The Center for an Agricultural Economy ( For each kilometer beyond 100K, Concept2 will donate an additional $.04. There are awards in kids and adaptive categories as well.

“Keeping fit and eating healthy can be especially challenging at this time of year,” explains Concept2 Co-Founder Judy Geer, “and the Holiday Challenge provides a great goal to help participants stay focused.” The Holiday Challenge provides incentive to stay healthy during the holidays while also helping those in need. The not-for-profit organizations in this year’s Holiday Challenge were chosen based on their efficient use of funding, reputation and unique programming. Participants have a choice of which organization they choose to support.
In 2008, Concept2 first supported charitable causes through the Holiday Challenge; over $26,000 was raised for organizations working on environmental issues. This year’s goal to raise $30,000 requires the dedication of rowers and skiers to join together for a good cause, one meter at a time.

For more information on the 10th Annual Online Holiday Challenge, or for details on where to find a Concept2 Indoor Rower at a health facility near you, please visit
Concept2 was founded by Dick and Peter Dreissigacker in 1976. Fresh from Olympic training, the two brothers designed and manufactured carbon fiber racing oars, then went on to create the world’s first air-resistance indoor rower. The SkiErg, launched in 2009, builds upon Concept2’s years of experience in designing and manufacturing high-performance training equipment. For more information about Concept2, visit

Two Paths Less Traveled-Recycling Takes Many Forms

An article by Alexandra Jump, for Livin' Magazine about Steve Gagner and our own Tom Gilbert, Executive Director of Highfields Center for Composting and one of our directors on the CAE board.

"Every once in a while you get lucky and you meet someone who is actively making change for the good. This is a story about two such individuals who are, in their own ways, making Vermont and the world we live in a better place. I don’t think they know each other or travel in the same circles. In fact from the outside, they are pretty different: One is a leader in the sustainable agriculture community and the other is an officer in the Vermont National Guard. One could be considered a liberal crunch muffin and the other a conservative joe, but dig a little deeper and you will find two men who have remarkable similarities. Both detest political labels and both are cleaning things up in their own way. "

Read the rest of the article here

Dan Rather Reports on Hardwick Area Food System

Dan Rather Reports visited the Hardwick area and its surrounding communities this last September. After visiting and interviewing local farms, businesses, and Monty Fischer, our executive director for the Center for an Agricultural Economy, the following segment aired on November 17, 2009 on HD Net.

Thank you to High Mowing Organic Seeds for posting this video for all to enjoy.

Hardwick Area Food System on "Dan Rather Reports" This video is made available to you from The Center for an Agricultural Economy via High Mowing Seeds on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bake Night for Pies for People, Soup for Supper!!

Collaboration and Local Food: A Community Feeds Its Community

Hardwick, VT-November 10, 2009-Harvested from the fields of High Mowing Seeds and processed at Pete’s Greens, squash destined for the compost pile will once again, find new life in feeding people.

The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) has organized a second Pies for People project, an area wide collaboration of farms, schools and agricultural producers that creates and delivers local food to local people during the holiday season. This year, not only has the project expanded to more than double the number of pies baked, it will also make squash soup for donation to local food shelves and senior care homes.

Pies for People, Soup for Supper will culminate in the Sterling College kitchen for two “Bake Nights” on November 17th and November 18th. Student volunteers from UVM, Sterling College and Craftsbury Academy will create and bake 135 pies and simmer 20 gallons of soup, made of donated local ingredients. The pies and soup will be delivered on November 18th and 19th to the Hardwick Area Food Pantry, Hardwick’s Community Dinner, Hardwick Elementary, Greensboro Early Learning Center, Greensboro Nursing Home, Craftsbury Academy for their autumn concert, Craftsbury Community Care Center and the Woodbury Calais Food Shelf.

This project could not have been possible without the working partnerships between the Center for an Agricultural Economy, Sterling College and the University of Vermont, or from the generous donation of services and ingredients from the following local agricultural businesses:

  • Butternut squash and pumpkin grown by High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott and harvested by Sterling College students
  • The cooking and processing of the puree by the crew at Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury
  • The use of the Sterling College kitchen to assemble and bake the pies, and cook the soup
  • Highfields Center for Composting in Hardwick will process all the compost-able waste
  • Storage provided by the Vermont Foodbank at its facility in Wolcott
  • The generous donation of chicken broth for the soup and the use of a refrigerated truck by Pete’s Greens
  • Pie crusts made by Charlie Emers of Patchwork Bakery in East Hardwick
  • Recipes created and donated by Steven Obranovich of Claire’s Restaurant in Hardwick
  • Pie and soup ingredients donated by Organic Valley, Butterworks Farm, Agape Hill Farm, Butternut Mountain Farm, Cabot Creamery, Buffalo Mountain Co-op, High Mowing Seeds, Sterling College and Pete’s Greens
  • The tireless, enthusiastic student, staff and community volunteers from Sterling College and UVM

The CAE sees the pies and soup project as a collaborative effort to meet the needs of a community using locally grown and donated produce. Many individuals and organizations in the
greater Hardwick community over the years have generously donated to the food pantry and other community service organizations, and it is the hope of the CAE that the Pies for People, Soup for Supper program will be another inspiration to others in the months ahead.

Elena Gustavson, Education and Community Outreach Coordinator,
Center for an Agricultural Economy,
Tel: 802-472-5840, email:

Kate Camara, Director of Media Relations,
Sterling College,
Tel: 802-586-7711, ext 124, email:

Creation And Funding Of New Center Are Announced At Vermont Farm Bureau Gathering

New Agricultural Innovation CenterWill Take ‘Vermont Branding’ To Next Level

RUTLAND, Vt. (FRIDAY, Nov. 6) -- A grant secured by Senator Patrick Leahy will be used to launch a new Vermont Agricultural Innovation Demonstration Center, to help develop new Vermont products and chart new avenues for Vermont’s farmers and businesses to connect with untapped customers and markets. Leahy aide Tom Berry made the announcement Friday in remarks in Rutland before the Vermont Farm Bureau.
Leahy secured $469,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture funding for the new Center, which will be housed at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. Leahy is a senior member of both the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
The Center will use the grant to provide technical assistance for developing new Vermont crops and products; for market research and promotion; for promoting agricultural and culinary tourism; and for a wide range of other services to expand the reach of Vermont’s agricultural products.
In a statement, Leahy said, “The Center will spark economic progress at several levels of our economy. It will widen the reach of Vermont’s farmers and businesses by linking their farms, goods and products directly to new customers. Value-added production, and the marketing to go with it, is at the heart of our Vermont Branding strategy. The importance of value-added agriculture to our export economy is especially apparent now, when our farmers are struggling with volatile and historically low commodity prices, and when markets often seem beyond our control. We can contribute to a thriving future for Vermont agriculture by creating new opportunities to add value right on the farm and at nearby businesses, and by building our own national and international markets.”
These funds will also launch the Vermont Agriculture Development Corporation, an independent nonprofit enterprise to support agricultural businesses through capital development and other private sector work. In addition, an Agricultural and Culinary Tourism Council will be established to coordinate efforts in this quickly growing arena.
The next step for the Agriculture Innovation Center will be the appointment by Vermont Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee of a Board of Directors representing Vermont’s diverse agricultural sectors of dairy, livestock, produce, maple syrup and organics.
Vermont Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee said, “Vermont has been a leader in innovative agriculture for generations. The funding that we are receiving today will allow us to move forward more quickly on projects that will put help us to be strategically placed in creative business strategies and to build models of innovation for our state and the country.”
Vermont Farm Bureau President Jackie Folsom said, “The Vermont Farm Bureau looks forward to participating in the Vermont Agricultural Innovation Center on behalf of our members and the agricultural community. This exciting new program, focusing on the continued innovation and diversification of our farmers, can only strengthen our industry and add to the economic base of the state."
Enid Wonnacott, Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, said, "The Vermont Agricultural Innovation Center is an important resource for farmers and agricultural businesses in Vermont, including both the establishment of the Agricultural Development Corporation to provide capital and business planning services to start-up businesses, and support for farmers who want to develop new markets. The Vermont Agricultural Innovation Center will be a critical resource for the people that are making a lot happen in Vermont agriculture right now -- entrepreneurs, farmers interested in capturing new market share and agricultural businesses that want to build on the values of Vermont's brand."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hardwick Farm Hit Hard by Fire Over the Weekend

We just learned that the McAllister family has been hit very hard by fire this weekend.

Friday night, Russell and Cherly McAllister on Route 15 West lost their entire dairy herd of 106 Holsteins and Jersey. The blaze was battled by fire crews from Hardwick, Craftsbury, Elmore, Greensboro, Walden, Wolcott and Woodbury. Although the crews were able to keep the fire spreading to the farmhouse, the barn was destroyed and it was too late to save the animals.

Raoul McAllister, brother to Russell, owns a house on Lower Cherry Street that caught fire Sunday morning. There is concern that the house is a total loss in spite of the crews best efforts to save it.

Today's Caledonian-Record has the front page story. Our hearts and thoughts are with the McAllister family.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Upcoming Events

Remember, you can find local events at the following calendars:

Hardwick Community Calendar

Craftsbury Community Calendar

Greensboro Association Community Calendar

Virtual Vermont, NEK

Virtual Vermont, Central


Plus many others...

Save the Dates!

Farm to Plate Regional Food Summits

The Sustainable Agriculture Council and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund are coordinating with local groups to hold a series of regional meetings to gather input for the Farm to Plate Initiative's 10-year strategic plan to strengthen Vermont's food system.

Learn more about regional efforts related to farms, food production, and food security. Participants will reflect upon their region's strengths and weaknesses and have focused small group conversations about how to build a more robust local food system by 2020.

We hope you will attend a regional food summit
in your area & pass the information on to others!

Tuesday, November 10th from 6:00-8:30PM
American Legion Hall, 129 S Main St., White River Junction. Refreshments served.
Local organizing partner: Valley Food & Farm / Vital Communities.
For more info: Melissa Zoerheide,

Saturday, November 14th from 5:30-8:30PM
St. Peters Episcopal Church, 200 Pleasant St., Bennington.
Local organizing partners: Manchester/Dorset Transition Town and Walloomsac Transition Forum.
For more info: Susan Beal, or Bill Laberge,

Wednesday, November 18th from 11:30AM-4:00PM
(Location to be determined)
Potluck lunch served, meeting starts at 12PM.
Local organizing partners: Shelburne Farms, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, UVM Extension.
For more info: Rachel Schattman,

Tuesday, December 1st from 5:30-8:30PM
(Location to be determined)
Local organizing partner: NOFA Farm to Community, UVM Extension.
For more info: Lisa Holderness,

Thursday, December 3rd from 3:00-7:00PM
Lake Union High School, 317 Lake Region Rd., Orleans.
Refreshments served.
Local organizing partners: Northeastern Vermont Development Association and Center for an Agricultural Economy.
For more info: Elena Gustavson,

Tuesday, December 8th
Location and time TBD, Middlebury.
Local organizing partner: ACORN Local Food Collaborative and Addison County Economic Development Corporation.
For more info: Bay Hammond,

Thursday, December 10th from 5:30-8:30PM
Montpelier High School Cafeteria, 5 High School Dr., Montpelier.
Potluck dinner served, meeting starts at 6PM.
Local organizing partner: Central Vermont Food Systems Council.
For more info: Kristin Feierabend,

Farm to Plate staff will also be attending the 5th Annual Farmers' Gathering on Thursday, November 12th at 6PM at Green Mountain College, Withey Student Center, Poultney with RAFFL (Rutland Area Farm and Food Link) & Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District.
For more info: Tara Kelly,

Empowering Beginning Women Farmers through Whole Farm Planning
January 2010

Holistic Management International has been funded through the USDA's Beginning Farmer Grant to teach beginning women farmers the tools of whole farm planning. Groups are forming in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.

Classes will begin in January 2010. Participants must agree to attend the 6 sessions that will take place over the winter of 2010 and 4 farm tours that will take place during the spring and fall of 2010. Sessions will be scheduled when the participants are selected but will likely be held on Saturday. There will be farm mentors also available.

If you are a woman farmer who has been farming less than 10 years, contact the coordinator for your state for an application. If you would like to participate as a farmer mentor, please also contact your state coordinator.

Applications must be submitted by November 25, 2009. Class is limited to 15 participants.

Mary Peabody, UVM Extension Specialist
Community Resources & Economic Development &
Director, Women's Agricultural Network

617 Comstock Road, Suite 5
Berlin, VT 05602-9194

Phone: 802-223-2389 extension 13
or tollfree: 866-860-1382 extension 13
Fax: 802-223-6500


Check out the Women's Ag Network blog

Digging Deep: An Advanced Soils Course for Vegetable Growers
Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT
January 2010

Three All-day Sessions:
January 5th, Soil Testing Tools and Their Use
January 19th, Using Soil Fertility Practices to Solve Problems on Your Farm
February 9th, Putting a System Together on Your Farm
Sessions will focus on tools and practices available to help farmers solve soil and soil fertility problems on their farms. Farmers will develop a soil fertility management plan that addresses nutrient needs, compaction, rotations and tillage.
Brochures to be mailed in November.

Contact NOFA Vermont at 802-434-4122 or to be added to our mailing list.

Watch the website for more information:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pies for People and Soup for Supper, 2009

Last year, Pies for People was a great success. Donations of pie to the Hardwick Food Shelf, the Hardwick Community dinner, Greensboro Early Learning Center and other local organizations were well received and most welcome during a difficult time of year when donations are often in decline.

For 2009, the Center for an Agricultural Economy continues to work with local farmers, producers and educational institutions to expand this project. This year, we have expanded our list of recipient organizations and have added soup to the donations.

On October 13th, 11 students from Sterling College helped harvest thousands of butternut squash from fields at High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott. The squash has gone to Pete's Greens in Craftsbury where the seeds will be extracted and sent back to High Mowing Seeds, the pulp will be cooked and processed and we will turn it into pies and soup in mid November with the help of volunteers from University of Vermont and Sterling College. The ingredients for the pies and soup are donated by local farmers and producers.

If you are a local farmer or producer who would like to donate ingredients for this project or if you are an interested community member who would like to know more about this Pies for People and Soup for Supper, please contact our Outreach and Education Coordinator, Elena Gustavson at the CAE or call # 472-5840.

Practical Farmers Farminar Begins November 3rd

An interactive seminar broadcast that is streamed over the web. We came across this recently and thought it might be of use to some of our members and local farmers/would-be farmers.

Practical Farmers Home Page

Practical Farmers Farminar
-Whole Farm Planning, Legal Issues, Estate Planning, Enterprise Budgets and more. Click on the link to go to the information page

AmeriCorps Member Opening at the CAE

AmeriCorps Member - Community Outreach & Administration:

Want to help build a 21st century food system?

Wonderful service opportunity available at the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick. Position includes co-coordinating general volunteer program and co-organizing participation in community-related events. General administrative duties, including web site maintenance and data management, are a part of this half-time position. Ideal candidate is a positive problem-solver and independent with a passion for furthering the development of a local food system. Excellent communication skills are essential. Benefits include living allowance, education award, health insurance, federal school loan forbearance and trainings. Position ends in June 2010. Send resume to Box 451, Hardwick, VT 05843. EOE.

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

The Center for an Agricultural Economy

Got Late Blight?

Guidance for Gardeners Report Released by NOFA Vermont
Richmond –
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA Vermont) released a report today to help gardeners clean up plants infected with the late blight disease that struck many of Vermont’s gardens and farms this year. The report, entitled Got Late Blight? Guidance for Gardeners also includes suggestions for avoiding late blight next year.
Late Blight, the disease that led to the Irish potato famine in the 1840’s, decimated tomato and potato crops across the state this year. Farmers throughout Vermont took estimated financial losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from crop losses due to the blight.

“As gardeners we need to do all we can to help keep late blight from being a problem next year; Vermont’s farmers were hit hard by this disease,” said Wendy Sue Harper, Ph.D. who authored the report. “There are several preventative measures gardeners can take this fall and next spring to help reduce the likelihood of the disease recurring next year.”

Late blight does not overwinter in Vermont’s freezing temperatures but could overwinter on potato tubers insulated in the warmth of a compost pile or buried in soil. The report details measures gardeners can take to destroy infected tubers and compost diseased foliage. The report also includes several recommendations to prevent late blight in the future including checking seed potatoes for blight before planting, choosing resistant varieties, and rotating crops.

The full report, along with a list of resistant tomato and potato varieties, can be found online at

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Upcoming Events!


-17th AND 24th Live Mortality Composting Workshop by Highfields Center for Composting (formerly known as the Highfields Institute)
Demonstration based workshops specifically designed for producers. The first will be held at the Highfields Center for Composting on West Hill Road and the second workshop, on the 24th, will be held at Nelson's Crystal Brook Farm on Rte 5 in Derby Line. Cost in $10. Please call 802-472-5138 ext 208 to register or email

-19th Wood Fire Oven Tour, sponsored by Hardwick Area Transition Towns
Starting at 9am in the Hardwick Community Garden, then to Heartbeet Lifesharing and finishing at Patchwork Farm and Bakery. Pick up maps at either Gagnon's Video on Main St. or in the garden on the day of the tour.

-23rd: Building a Sustainable Agricultural Business, co-sponsored by Vermont Small Business Development Center and the Center for an Agricultural Economy
First day of a 4 part workshop on Building a Sustainable Agricultural Business. Taught by John Mandeville of the director of Incubator Without Walls program and Steve Paddock, the Assistant State Director of Agribusiness for Vermont Small Business Development Center.
Visit the VtSBDC site for more information.

-25th Buffalo Mountain Cooperative Clothes Swap!
Rain date is October 2nd
Come to the swap at the Art Park on Main St in Hardwick (across from the Village Diner). Visit Buffalo Mt Coop's site for updated information and upcoming event happenings.

-3rd Farmstead Cheeses and Heirloom Apples from the Northeast Kingdom and Beyond!
Join the Old Stonehouse Museum along with Walden Heights Nursery, Mateo Kehler of Jasper Hill Farm & Cellars and Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm for a cheese and apple tasting, speakers and demonstrations from 11am to 4pm.

Also, don't forget to check out the websites of our neighbors and friends for upcoming events.

The Hardwick Area Community Calendar-For all events local and otherwise!
The Craftsbury Community Calendar-For more events local and otherwise!
The Galaxy Bookshop-poetry readings, discussions, book signings and more!
The Buffalo Mt Coop
Claire's Restaurant
Sterling College-speakers series
The Highland Lodge-music, discussions and more

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Busy, Month!

The Center held it's first Open House!

On Thur, August 27, The Center held its first, official Open House. We had snickerdoodles, cider and then showed a documentary called The Red Wagon: Facing Hunger. It's is a compelling look at the face of hunger in Vermont and those who are struggling to meet the need of food security. Tom Stearns, our Board's President, joined us in leading a discussion among a lively and interactive group. Eventually, the evening set upon us and we either headed over to Claire's for dinner and music or to the comforts of home. Although the Open House will be an annual (or bi-annual?) event, we plan to continue to have an open door gathering the last Thursday of every month until December.

Senator Leahy visits Hardwick-August 28

The next day was a busy one with a visit from Senator Leahy. He was in Hardwick to announce the granting of funds to both the Vermont Food Venture Center towards building its new facility here as well as the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund for its biofuel projects. He visited our office for a potluck lunch of salads, sandwiches, cookies and conversation where Tom and our Executive Director Monty Fischer got a chance to explain our purpose and vision for Hardwick's food system directly to the Senator.

Foreign Agricultural Attache comes to Vermont-Sept 2-4th

This Friday, the 3rd, we are welcoming approximately 30 or 40 representatives of a Foreign Agricultural Attache hosted by the VT Department of Agriculture, to lunch at Claire's where Monty and others will discuss the role of agriculture in revitalizing Hardwick and its surrounding communities. The group will be in Vermont for a total of 3 days and will visit many places including Pete's Greens, Jasper Hill Cellars, High Mowing Seeds, Butternut Farm in Morrisville, as well as talk with such notables like Enid Wonacott, the Executive Director of NOFA-VT.

Vermont Land Trust Annual Meeting-Sept 12

Mark your calendars for this special event at Jasper Hill! See their website for more information.

High Mowing Seeds 2009 Field Days-Sept 13th

Come join us for this special free event! This is the first year The Center has co-sponsored this event and we are so very excited to have Jeffrey Ferrell and the New England Culinary Institute create this year's Local Foods Showcase. Tours, workshops, food, music, Young Farmer's Mixer and bonfire. Join us at 11am on the Marsh Rd at the Trial Gardens.

Emeril Lagasse and Planet Green-Sept 14th-18th

Yup, they really are coming. We are looking forward to seeing what they do, how they do it and what they cook up for this week long "on site shoot" of a food town. Look for updates soon!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Emeril Lagasse and Planet Green

Planet Green, a show on the Discovery Channel, is heading to Hardwick with Emeril Lagasse, the celebrity chef. Check out the website for the press release and the show's schedule here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Upcoming Events!

Below are several events that we thought might be of interest as well as events we are co-sponsoring.

The Vermont Fresh Network (VFN)
Annual Forum-Growing Our Local Food Economy
Located at Shelburne Farms Coach Barn on Sunday, August 9. Celebrate the farmer-chef partnerships that enrich our communities across the Green Mountain State with Woody Tasch, founder of Slow Money.
Visit for more information.

Northeast Organic Farming Association, Vermont (NOFAVT)
Summer 2009 Workshop Series
Ongoing summer workshop series for home gardeners and farmers alike

Visit for registration and information

Buffalo Mountain Cooperative

Homeopathy for Children
Located at the Riverside Farm, join Judy Jarvis for a free workshop on homeopathic remedies for your child's health and well being.
Call 472-6169 to register


Northwoods Stewardship Center
$25 for adults, $10 for children
To bid on items, reserve tickets or for more information please visit

Area Agency on Aging
Join Peggy Thompson from the VT Dept of Agriculture for a free workshop at 1030am at the Barton Senior Center. Lunch will follow, but please reserve by calling 5250-0080.
For more information, please contact Lallie Mambourg or Jenny Patoine at 748-5182

Vermont Land Trust
Annual Meeting
Field trips, discussions and lunch!
Visit for more details

High Mowing Seeds and The Center for an Agricultural Economy
Field Days!

We are proud to be co-sponsors with HMS for their popular Field Days Event. Tours, workshops, a Local Foods Showcase by NECI, music by Mayfly and a bonfire to end the day. Visit HMS website for the details or check our blog for updates.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

UVM Crop and Soil Field Days

"Grains from the Ground Up!"

Borderview Farm, Alburgh, Vermont
Hosts: The Rainville Family
Date: Thursday, August 6, 2009
Time: 10:30 am to 3:00 pm

The program is Free of charge for farmers. All others $15 per person. (CCA credits available)

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by July 30 to

If you need additional information please contact Heather Darby at 802 524 6501.

VSJF Farm to Plate Initiative

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund officially launched its year long initiative to develop a strategic plan for agriculture in Vermont.

To learn more about this initiative and sign up for regular updates, visit the VSJF site

Building a Sustainable Agriculture Business

Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) and the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, VT announce a 4-session, 12 hour long course for new and experienced farmers and other agricultural entrepreneurs and those looking to enter this field. Topics to be covered include:

* Identifying Values - What's Important to You?

* Farm History and Current Situation - What Have You Got?

* Vision, Mission and Goals - Where Do You Want to Go?

    * Strategic Planning and Evaluation - What Routes Can You Take to Get Where You Want to Go?

    * Present, Implement and Monitor Your Business Plan - Which Route Will You Take and How Will You Check Your Progress Along the Way?

Those who take and complete this intense course will gain the practical knowledge necessary to research and produce a comprehensive business plan for their agriculture related businesses. The course is organized and presented in a straight-forward, no-nonsense approach meant to impart immediate knowledge and skills that can be put to immediate use. For those who have known that they must have a business plan to help ensure the success of their businesses but didn't know where to start and for those who may need to update existing plans, this is the place to start.

The course will be taught by Steve Paddock, VtSBDC Assistant State Director of Agribusiness and John Mandeville, the Director of the Incubator Without Walls program at Lyndon State College. IWoW is a joint initiative between the college and VtSBDC. Steve has had many years of experience in agriculture having operated a commercial and purebred beef cattle ranch, a start-up poultry business and managed a small farm for a Quaker boarding school. He has worked very closely with NOFA and in the field of sustainable agriculture for several years. John has worked as a Business Advisor for VtSBDC and has more than 30 years of management experience in several different industries.

The course will be offered on 4 consecutive Wednesday mornings starting on September 23rd and ending on October 14th. Each session will begin at 9:00 AM and end at noon. All sessions will be held at the office of the Center for an Agricultural Economy at 41 S. Main St., Hardwick, VT.

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The cost for the course including all materials is $450. For those whose family income qualifies them as low to moderate income, there is scholarship money available to bring the cost down to $25. REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE ON SEPTEMBER 11TH. SPACE IS LIMITED AND IMMEDIATE REGISTRATION IS RECOMMENDED.

For more information please contact John Mandeville at or 626-4867 or Steve Paddock at or 388-7953.

To register go to and go to the Training page. Alternatively, please e-mail Heather Gonyaw at

The Center for an Agricultural Economy, operating in Hardwick and surrounding communities, is a Vermont local food hub whose purpose is to ensure that consumers have access to healthy, secure and affordable locally-grown food, and farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs have reliable and efficient access to local and regional markets.

Vermont Small Business Development Center is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through its funding does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of any of the co-sponsors' or participants' opinions, products or services.

Vermont Cheese & Wine Event at the Highland Lodge

On Sunday, August 2nd from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, the Highland Lodge and Greensboro Historical Society invite you to sample nationally acclaimed Vermont cheeses and wines.

Boyden Valley Winery of Cambridge, Vermont, will bring their wines to sample and several local farmstead cheese-makers will be showcasing their products and answering your questions. This is a wonderful opportunity to taste some of the wide variety of cheeses you see at the local farmer's markets and beyond. Non-alcoholic Vermont beverages will also be available.

The Highland Lodge will provide homemade French bread and a variety of hors d'oeuvres. All this and more for a $20.00 suggested donation which includes a glass of wine. Please make reservations at Highland Lodge, 533-2647.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Article-Local Banquet Winter 2008/2009

I know this article is a several months old now, but I found myself reading it this morning and appreciating it all over again.

Enid Wonnacott is the executive director of NOFA Vermont, where she has been for 20 years. She has watched change in the Vermont food system over the past two decades from a unique perspective that many of us have not had. Enjoy the read!

Read it here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Across the Fence

Although the streaming video is not available quite yet, we are featured on UVM's program "Across the Fence" that began yesterday, continues today and finishes tomorrow. Catch the program on Channel 3, WCAX at 12:10pm.

Article-USA Today

Great article in USA Today about contemporary small farmers in the United States. Small acreage, partnerships, frugal living, technological advances and career choices.

A quote from the article-"For these new farmers, going back to the land isn't a rejection of conventional society, but an embrace of growing crops and raising animals for market as an honorable, important career choice — one that's been waning since 1935, when the U.S. farms peaked at 6.8 million."

Read it in it's entirety here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Discussion w/ Ron Krupp at The Galaxy, co-sponsored by The Buffalo Mt. Co-op

Ron Krupp will be at The Galaxy Bookshop to discuss his book
"Lifting The Yoke: Local Solutions to America's Farm and Food Crisis"

Join him on Tuesday, July 21st at 7pm

Call or email The Galaxy for more information


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Food Inc. is at the Savoy in July!

Beginning July 17th, the Savoy in Montpelier will be showing Food Inc. at 6:30 and 8:30 nightly. Will also show at 1:30p on the weekends.

Check out The Savoy Theatre website for more information about the theater or Food Inc.'s official website for movie information.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Evening with Marian Burros

Join Marian Burros, noted author and New York Times food columnist for a talk on

"The New White House Kitchen Garden and Michelle Obama"

When: Wed., July 22nd at 6pm
Where: The Lakeview Inn
Cost: $60

The evening will begin with a "tasting dinner".

Tickets are pre-sale only.
Please contact or

For more information, please visit

Monday, July 6, 2009

On Farm Composting 101-High Fields Institute


Date: July 8, 2009
Time: 9:00-3:30

$20 Farmers -- $15 each for additional people from one farm
$50 Non-farmers

Location: Highfields Institute’s Compost Demonstration and Research Site
Hardwick, VT (Directions available on our website)

This workshop involves classroom, hands-on and demonstration components covering recipe development, feedstock mixing, pile formation, monitoring, management, and site development.

Please register for this workshop by calling or emailing below:

802-472-5138 x 203

Article-Local Clusters of Self Reliance

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) brings together small business leaders, economic development professionals, government officials, social innovators, and community leaders to build local living economies. BALLE's Michael Shuman makes the case for local prosperity highlighting Hardwick, VT as the local food model.

BALLE Article-Local Clusters of Self Reliance: The Key to Rural Prosperity

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Article-Building a Healthy Food System in Rural America

Below, a great article by David Goodman for Eating Well Magazine, July/August 2009.

The future of food, I’ve been told, may be found in a hardscrabble town of 3,200 in northern Vermont. But as I walk down the main street of Hardwick, a former granite-quarrying town, there is nothing that would indicate this is the new food utopia heralded by The New York Times. I pass the Chinese take-out joint, catch the charred whiff of a burned-out building and finally stop catty-corner from the laundromat and police station. Then I spot it: a cheery pumpkin-colored building with floor-to-ceiling windows and etched on the glass: “Claire’s: Local ingredients. Open to the world.” I step through the restaurant door, and I am immediately transported.

...Read the rest here: